The use and provision of “cleaner technologies” is the core of climate change mitigation response. While financial investments in technology research and development have generated unprecedented improvements in the way energy is consumed and clean energy sources are tapped, there remains considerable work to efficiently and consistently employ these innovative technologies in both developing and developed countries.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a bottomup driven instrument that allows measurable green house gas (GHG) emission reduction possibilities to be proposed formally, through specific procedures and use of approved methodologies by the CDM Executive Board. Technology transfer aside, the CDM has been successful in not only boosting the application of diverse cleaner technologies that otherwise face financial or technological barriers, but also in facilitating the faster spread of technologies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and that, in many cases, are not currently available or applied in host countries.
As of September 2010, there are 2373 registered projects in the pipeline, applying more than 100 technologies – reducing approximately 1,100,000 KCERs by 2012. Since the beginning of practical operation of the CDM in 2001 (after the adoption of the Marrakech Accords) more than 300 proposals for methodologies to implement and document project based emissions reductions have been proposed to the CDM Executive Board, many of which have been approved. Currently, about 140 methodologies are in use – or could be in use, if project proponents used the full methodological potential. However, while the bottom-up approach provides ultimate flexibility of the system, it also causes ‘information overflow’ in the sense that even trained project consultants lose track of the options available to them for presenting their projects in the most efficient way and choosing the best suited methodology.
The UNEP Risoe Centre has followed the development of the CDM since its beginning and updated, on a monthly basis, CDM/JI Pipeline Analysis and Database – a web-based database listing all recorded CDM activities and their status of development in the registration procedure, as well as their performance in terms of issuance of certified emissions reductions (CERs). The database categorises projects under 25 types, mainly referring to technologies, and about 140 subtypes of CDM projects, which further divides the technologies into specific areas of application.
The CDM Technology and Methodology Overview aims at providing a more intuitive approach into the wealth of information contained in the CDM/JI Pipeline. It provides an entry point to identify relevant technologies for GHG emissions reduction from overall defined economic sectors as it offers a short description of applied or applicable technologies, as well as a few examples of application in the CDM context. As a simple and handy overview it is ideal for a quick review and consultation for general audience, especially for policy makers, to further the decision making process within a national context, in terms of sector prioritization, CDM potentials and design of national strategies (e.g. in long term energy planning). Moreover, this publication provides shortcut guidance on possible CDM methodology choices for each technology, including up-to-date recorded CDM projects combined with their current status in the CDM pipeline. The publication also provides snapshot information of CDM baseline methodologies both approved and applied as of September 2010.